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Event Coverage Speed Week advice

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Pass The Torch, Jul 5, 2019.

  1. Pass The Torch
    Joined: May 18, 2018
    Posts: 111

    Pass The Torch
    Member

    Good morning HAMBer's. Planning on taking my son to Bonneville Speed Week this year; neither of us have been before. Looking for any tips / do's / don'ts, etc. We're going as spectators.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. 1ton
    Joined: Dec 3, 2010
    Posts: 280

    1ton
    Member

    Made the trip out there in 2014. It was quite exciting just to stand on the sands at Bonneville. Too bad it was ankle deep in water as far as you could see. The airfield is cool. It was my understanding that the crew of the Enola Gay trained there. A step into the forties.
     
  3. Mike VV
    Joined: Sep 28, 2010
    Posts: 1,522

    Mike VV
    Member
    from SoCal

    Wear hats, no shorts, no sandles..!
    The sun reflects off of the salt. Gets into places you never thought could get sun burned.

    Mike
     
    da34guy likes this.
  4. RichFox
    Joined: Dec 3, 2006
    Posts: 9,691

    RichFox
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    When you are driving around it is very easy to be looking at something interesting and forget that other people are doing the same. There have been some awful wrecks out there from spectators just cruising and not watching everywhere. Otherwise. Take everything you think you will want with you, You can get food and drink at the grill set up near the pits. Shade maybe. CB is nice if you have one. You will see what everyone else is doing so just play along. It's fun and easy. Get a pit pass and a crew pass if possible. So you can cruise the pits. They are long.
     
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  5. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 22,782

    Jalopy Joker
    Member

    do a search here - several long threads on this have been posted
     
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  6. dwollam
    Joined: Oct 22, 2012
    Posts: 778

    dwollam
    Member

    Motels/hotels/KOA are booked way in advance. Plenty of free camping areas between the hiway and the salt. Pitch a tent or bring a camper. Lots of sunscreen is a must, so is shade. Daily/nightly free car show at the Nugget in Wendover. Take a portable radio for race broadcast. Most race teams sell t-shirts to help support their habit, buy a few or a few dozen!

    Dave
     
    Texas Webb likes this.
  7. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 4,454

    jimmy six
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    First Friday is inspection day and it's a chance to see the inner working of a lot of vehicles. Try not to get in the way especially when the actual inspection is going on.
    It's difficult to call LSR a spectator sport since you are really not close to actual track. But watching a 3-400 mph car come by while standing/sitting at the pits is unforgettable.
    During the week walking thru the pit is also a treat and most working on their cars/bike unless under duress trying to fix the vehicle are very friendly and will answer questions.
     
  8. lilmann
    Joined: Apr 13, 2017
    Posts: 88

    lilmann

    Wear sun block everywhere, it’ll reflect up and burn your skin up your shorts, nose etc.

    Shade canopy and chairs

    You can’t bring enough water

    There’s a public swimming pool, it won’t matter if you like swimming or think you look fat! It’s the best way to relax after being on the salt.

    Pay attention to where you’re going, walking or driving. 99.9% of people out there are your best friends.....don’t find the one dick head or his wife by being rude or accidentally walking into the picture he/she is taking or accidentally using the “women only” port a john.

    It’s hot rod mecca!!!!!!!




    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  9. Jethro
    Joined: Mar 5, 2001
    Posts: 1,397

    Jethro
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I went for the first time last year.
    Big hat , sunscreen , water , pop up tent , folding chairs , binoculars....stake your claim by setting up your popup along the cones that mark the spectator line. Put down a tarp under it so the salt doesn't get messed up(they actually ask you to do this). We set up at the 3 mile marker which was close enough to the pits and vendors to walk. If you're staying a few days you can leave your popup but they want it secured down and the canopy taken off at the end of the day in case it gets windy. everyone gets a front row seat , the racing is a couple hundred yards out from the spectator line. The racers tow their cars past the spectator line on the way to the starting line. You get to see all the competitors. They broadcast the whole thing on FM so bring a portable radio to hear what's going on.
    The Christians have Bethlehem , the Muslims have Mecca , the rainbow people have pride week , we get Speedweek!
    It was one of the coolest things that I have ever been to! The people are friendly , the cars that show up on the salt are something to see. Everything from fresh builds to 50+ year old survivors .The show at the nugget is not to be missed!
    Yeah I'm going again!
     
    Ranchero59, wackdaddy, 18n57 and 5 others like this.
  10. Pass The Torch
    Joined: May 18, 2018
    Posts: 111

    Pass The Torch
    Member

    Great tips and advice! Thank you all. I should / should have added that we are flying in fron the East coast, so tents, chairs, etc. are not really an option. I’m hoping this will “jumpstart” my son into preserving / perpetuating the hobby for the next generation and beyond. Hope to run into some of you there.


    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  11. pprather
    Joined: Jan 10, 2007
    Posts: 1,258

    pprather
    Member

    There are plenty of canopies that most everyone is willing to share their shade. Unoccupied chairs are usually shared as well.
    Have fun!

    Phil
     
  12. Dirty Dug
    Joined: Jan 11, 2003
    Posts: 3,549

    Dirty Dug
    Member

    Try Motel 6 in Wendover.
     
  13. wayne-o
    Joined: Jan 22, 2006
    Posts: 266

    wayne-o
    Member

    Went last year for the first time. Wore shorts and SPF fishing shirts, a large hat and lots of suntan lotion, no problems. As Rich Fox said above, get someone to show you how to get a pit pass and participant sticker for your car. You can then drive thru the pits which are like 3 miles long. We spent Friday touring the pits and inspection, went to the drivers meeting on Sat and watched from the starting line and down track Sat and Sun. Nothing is close. It is not a spectator sport. Eat at the Salt Flats Cafe behind the Nugget. Great breakfast and supper. Had a super time, you and your son will too.
     
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  14. Frank Carey
    Joined: Oct 15, 2009
    Posts: 451

    Frank Carey
    Member

    There is a carwash in town that has coin-operated pressure hoses to clean salt from under your car. $.25 per unit of time. I spent about $5,00.
    I took my truck camper and brought my bicycle. Pits were huge. Sprawled. Rode bike all around.
     
  15. RichFox
    Joined: Dec 3, 2006
    Posts: 9,691

    RichFox
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    That can be problematic. Rental companys don't like you taking their car on the salt. They may make you sign an agreement that you will not take the car off the paved road. And they may include penaltys when they find salt in the undercarriage.
     
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  16. Jethro
    Joined: Mar 5, 2001
    Posts: 1,397

    Jethro
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

  17. jim snow
    Joined: Feb 16, 2007
    Posts: 735

    jim snow
    Member

    Good advice right there. Check with rent a wreck. Serious sunblock on your lips and nose. Snowman
     
  18. Chappy444
    Joined: Jan 27, 2012
    Posts: 787

    Chappy444
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    1. Maryland HAMBers

    My buddy rented a car out there and found a $250 or $300 cleaning fee on his CC when he got home... even after giving it a good cleaning at the car wash. There were 5 of them on that trip so they split it. He said he would have paid it all himself and considered it a cheap price for admission to that spectacle. Sadly he passed before he had a chance to get back out there.
    It is on my list, hopefully next year... trying to talk the wife into a 2 week road trip from MD to Utah...
    Chappy
     
    The Arizona Old Crow likes this.
  19. The last time we were there for racing, the ac compressor on our main camping van failed the day we arrived.
    To my surprise, we didnt suffer as we were afraid we would.
    All day outside in the cooking hot sun, almost no indoor time anyway, so we werent going to have access to the ac even if it did work.
    At night time in the desert, camping at the "Bend", the refreshing mountain breezes that seem to start up in late evening around dark time or just after dark, kept us comfortable for sleeping as long as we kicked all the doors open.
    Alternating between "camping showers" and the $10 or 12 $ truck stop showers right nearby worked out just perfectly.
    There was one afternoon that many if not most campers were running across the desert chasing tents and shade canopies that took off when a strong wind burst happened a couple times, so I recommend staking down pretty thoroughly for a windy area no matter calm you think things will be.
    Porta potties are just a short walking distance if you are near the free camping community by the bend.
    Increased privacy is as simple as scooting your tents or RV just a little farther from the neighbors, or a little bit more into the desert.
    Your Community vs Isolation ratio is very adjustable :)
    If you are seen crawling under your car, or with your hood up for a while be prepared for people coming over offering to help.
    NO BUGS.
    You'll never forget your first time.


    WHY BE ORDINARY ?
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2019
  20. WALMART cheap place for a popup and or chairs, get a SUV rental type vehicle.

    even most sedans have a fold down back seat to slide it in...

    I bet some one would take the chairs and popup off your hands when you done with them.
     
  21. RichFox
    Joined: Dec 3, 2006
    Posts: 9,691

    RichFox
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    There is a large debris box near the entrance to the pits. Lots of tarps and chairs end up in there. Stuff bought for a one way trip.
     
  22. If you don't have a room, the chance of getting one is about zero.
     
  23. TrailerTrashToo
    Joined: Jun 20, 2018
    Posts: 353

    TrailerTrashToo
    Member

    A few years ago, we did a "bucket list" stop at Speed Week. We were traveling from Southern, AZ to Reno, NV to see the grand kids. I was having a bout with congestive heart failure, so I could only stand the heat for a couple of hours.

    The Salt Flats are at I-80 Exit 4, in Wendover, UT. The closest "out of town" motels are:

    About 109 miles to the east, at Exit 113 (west Salt Lake City), there are several motels, mostly national chains. This location is just west of the Salt Lake City airport.

    About 111 miles west, at Exit 303 (Elko, NV), there many motels, a mix of independents and lower priced national chains.

    We took the Elko option for 2 nights and day tripped Bonneville. Had a wonderful 2 hours wandering the pits, then got out before the extreme heat of the afternoon.

    Cruised Wendover, NV in our air conditioned Hyundai, ran the Hyundai thru the "We remove salt" car wash and returned to our air conditioned room in Elco.

    With a nod to Paul Harvey - The rest of the story.

    We both left AZ with sinus problems. Eating in Wendover exposed us to lots of cigarette smoke (slot machines everywhere, with smoking players everywhere), made out sinus problems worse. We ended up turning back to AZ, so we did not expose others to our illness.

    And did the salt wash work? Don't know. Shortly after that trip, we turned the 4 door sedan into a small crew cab pickup truck. The AZ grand son got the sedan and shortly thereafter totaled it.
     
  24. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 25,214

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    There have been stories of more than one guy going commando with baggy shorts getting the boys fried out there. You just have to be careful with shorts. Good comfortable shoes you can walk in are a must.

    I'd suggest for the two of you a big beach umbrella with a fold out stand that that can sit on the salt without being fastened down would be a good idea. then you can easily collapse it if you want to walk around and not worry about the wind picking up a canopy and blowing it around if the wind pops up. I watched guys chase some canopies down the last time I was there.
    Big straw hats and sunglasses are a must. Ball caps get your ears fried.

    If you pitch a tent at the bend in the road make sure it is securely held down some guys had to chase mine down last time I camped there. Pitch the tent out of the visible driving paths a bit though.
    The truck stop has showers for a few bucks. Not sure what the fee is but unless you go to the pool and shower that is a good option.

    Move around and watch from various vantage points. The starting line is fun because you can check out the cars waiting in line and watch the cars take off. Spots out at the 2 mile and three mile are fun when the fast cars run. That portable radio is a must and a CB also lets you listen in or it did a few years ago. That way you don't miss a 400 mph run while you are making a sandwich or off to the can.
    As some others said, take some cash for T shirts from the race teams. That is the only place you are going to be able to get some of those shirts and they help fund the racing effort.
    Take the cooler with plenty of water and maybe a Gatorade style drink. Pop/soda doesn't get the job done in keeping you hydrated out there.

    The last thing I can say to anyone planning on going, DO NOT TAKE anyone who gets bored easily and can't entertain themselves if it isn't exciting enough for them. A lot of big Nascar and drag race fans get bored to death out there because the action is slow but for those who are into it that time between action is when we check out the cars in line or see that racer we have followed for the past 40 years in person. You see a lot of wives setting under the shade thing reading a book and that is fine. Mine would want to go back to the motel after two hours.
     
  25. RichFox
    Joined: Dec 3, 2006
    Posts: 9,691

    RichFox
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Many spectators come just for the first weekend, And many racers can't restrain their enthusiasm and break right away. The result of this is rooms are usually available after the first few days. Ask around when you get there.
     
  26. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 25,214

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Someone might be able to say if the motels still offer up the rooms they have cancellations on at a certain hour of the evening too. We got on the list at Motel 6 and got a room when they opened up the cancellations the year my dad went with me. You might be able to snag a room after a cancelation on your phone or laptop from the salt now though.
     
  27. Another suggestion if flying in. Stop at a thrift store in SLC or wherever you fly into and buy a couple cheap bicycles. Best way to cover distance out on the salt if not driving. Pits are located from mile 3 to 4, so 1 mile length and several rows deep. Once done with the trip donate the bikes back to the thrift store on way out of town. You will need shade, but many people will let you hang out in their shade so you can get by without a canopy. Buy couple of cheap folding chairs, and make friends with some shade, donate the chairs to them when done. Rest of advice is good, it's typically in 90's temps, but relatively low humidity. Sunscreen and sunglasses. Hat to shade your head. Shorts are fine and most people wear them and a t-shirt. Cooler for some drinks, limit the alcohol and water or sports drinks are good.
    The best cleanup for the rental car is a good thunderstorm on the way back. But you can't control that. Don't tell rental company you are going to Bonneville. Wear non-auto shirt when renting, say you are going to visit mining sites or something if asked. It's hard to not get salt inside the car, so not just the outside but also the inside vacuuming. Protective mats like towels taped in is a good way to minimize the salt inside off your shoes.
    Most of all, have fun. It's a great time and one of the best ways to see a bunch of old cars running around, some real fast race cars, and a bunch of good folks all at the same place.
     
    Ranchero59 likes this.
  28. Wear wrap around shades. The standard ones will let salt glare in, reflect off the inside of your sunglasses, right into your eyes, giving you a massive headache. Ask me how I know.
     
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  29. RichFox
    Joined: Dec 3, 2006
    Posts: 9,691

    RichFox
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Anybody around San Mateo that wants a pit shade and ground tarp. I have one I don't need. Coffee cans full of lead for the corner poles. Never blew away for me. Set up without corner stakes. Free to first comer.
     
  30. Frank Carey
    Joined: Oct 15, 2009
    Posts: 451

    Frank Carey
    Member

    I was there in 2001. But have a few things for you that might help. I had a truck camper. Booked one night in town campground. Emptied holding tanks and filled with fresh water. I'd brought a big water bladder/tank intended for cab roof. Filled that, too, and headed out to the salt very carefully in the AM. In those days the course would be laid out wherever the longest stretch was and was in a different place every year. And in 2001 the starting line was about two miles from the pits. Glad I had brought my bicycle. Spent overnight at the bend. Heavy rain one night. Tents at bend flooded. By AM you'd never know it had rained. Salt was ready. Sun screen: UNDER you nose, UNDER your chin, behind your ears. Be sure to look at cars in pits. Lots of creativity. Saw a flathead with homemade intercooler in a DeSoto Airflow! The culture is like the old days of drag racing. Fastest car wins. Many guy had been drag racers and left when brackets began.
    Have fun
     

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